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New York Times, Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Author:
Alan Arbesfeld
Editor:
Will Shortz
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
1258/27/198110/9/20190
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25724372615
ScrabRebusCirclePangramPre‑WS
1.595099
Alan Arbesfeld

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 38 Missing: none – this is a pangram. This is puzzle # 116 for Mr. Arbesfeld. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Jeff Chen notes:
Quote puzzles are tough to make sizzle. You put all your eggs in one basket, dedicating every one of your precious theme entries to ... read more

Quote puzzles are tough to make sizzle. You put all your eggs in one basket, dedicating every one of your precious theme entries to the quote. It has to land well and generate a big laugh, or the puzzle falls flat. This one, playing on the phrase FIGHT / TOOTH AND NAIL, didn't do much for me, but perhaps people more into groany puns will be delighted.

What can help quote puzzles are 1.) addition of bonus entries that help keep a solver's attention, and 2.) clean short fill so that if it's not your cup of tea, at least it's a silky smooth solve.

I liked the additions of SIOUX CITY, JET STREAM, POLE VAULTER, and TICKET TAKER a lot — each one of these is a strong entry. PRAVDA, FLAMBE, and even NECTAR are fun, too. It can be hard to incorporate bonus fill in the across direction, since that often creates filling difficulties, so JET STREAM in particular was a joy to uncover.

Speaking of filling difficulties though ... I stopped keeping track of crossword glue after SEPT, AOUT, ISLA, RLS, EQUI, SPH (sphere?). I couldn't help but pick the tally back up at the end, though, finishing with TBA / BIERS (what a tough word!), ENERO / ERST in a single corner … no bueno. No. Bueno.

I wonder if the puzzle concept would have been better served by using different body part phrases? Perhaps TOOTH AND NAIL could be the punchline to this particular joke, HAND OVER FIST could be a manicurist mano a mano, FOOT IN MOUTH could involve a podiatrist kickboxing with an ENT, etc. That way if one didn't do it for you, maybe another one would?

Overall though, a couple of great long bonus entries did help elevate (get it? POLE VAULTER? (speaking of groany)) my solving experience.

1
S
2
E
3
P
4
T
5
P
6
E
7
R
8
E
9
N
10
U
11
M
12
B
13
C
L
O
M
14
P
15
E
R
I
Q
16
E
Z
R
A
17
O
I
L
E
R
18
S
I
O
U
19
X
C
I
T
Y
20
W
H
E
N
A
21
D
E
N
T
I
S
T
22
L
U
V
23
V
A
T
24
O
A
25
T
26
E
27
S
28
A
29
N
D
M
A
30
N
31
I
32
C
U
R
I
S
T
33
S
34
A
U
N
A
35
A
O
U
T
36
C
S
A
37
E
L
L
E
38
A
39
R
G
U
E
40
S
K
I
T
41
C
O
T
42
I
S
L
A
43
E
P
E
E
S
44
T
H
E
45
Y
M
U
S
T
46
F
47
I
G
H
T
48
S
A
R
A
H
49
L
O
G
50
T
51
B
52
A
53
T
O
54
O
55
T
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H
A
N
D
57
N
A
I
L
58
J
59
E
60
T
S
T
R
E
A
M
61
Y
O
K
E
L
62
A
G
E
E
63
S
E
R
B
64
E
N
E
R
O
65
B
O
N
N
66
O
N
M
E
67
E
R
S
T
© 2017, The New York TimesNo. 0503 ( 24,648 )
Across
1
Virgo/Libra mo. : SEPT
5
Parisian parent : PERE
9
Give an epidural, e.g. : NUMB
13
Walk in wooden shoes, say : CLOMP
15
La Salle of "ER" : ERIQ
16
Cornell of Cornell University : EZRA
17
Wayne Gretzky, for about half of his playing career : OILER
18
Iowa birthplace of Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren : SIOUXCITY
20
Start of a punny quip about two professionals : WHENADENTIST
22
Word on a candy heart : LUV
23
Vintner's vessel : VAT
24
"Them" author Joyce Carol ___ : OATES
28
Quip, part 2 : ANDMANICURIST
33
Luxury hotel amenity : SAUNA
35
Month after juillet : AOUT
36
Stars and Bars org. : CSA
37
Vogue competitor : ELLE
38
Quip, part 3 : ARGUE
40
Bit of burlesque : SKIT
41
Shelter accommodation : COT
42
La Española, for one : ISLA
43
Olympic blades : EPEES
44
Quip, part 4 : THEYMUSTFIGHT
48
Comic Silverman : SARAH
49
Floater in a flume : LOG
50
TV sked letters : TBA
53
End of the quip : TOOTHANDNAIL
58
Tailwind for eastbound flights : JETSTREAM
61
Almost any "Li'l Abner" character : YOKEL
62
James with a posthumous Pulitzer : AGEE
63
Kosovo native : SERB
64
Month after diciembre : ENERO
65
Beethoven's German birthplace : BONN
66
"I've got this one" : ONME
67
Formerly, in old times : ERST
Down
1
Look that says "I'm not happy" : SCOWL
2
Yale of Yale University : ELIHU
3
One with a high bar to reach : POLEVAULTER
4
Counterfeiter-catching Feds : TMEN
5
Euro forerunner in Spain : PESETA
6
Burnett of CNN : ERIN
7
"You're a regular ___!" (Kramden cry) : RIOT
8
Prefix with angular or lateral : EQUI
9
Drink with ambrosia : NECTAR
10
Six-Day War weapon : UZI
11
Mohawk sporter on "The A-Team" : MRT
12
Horse with a reddish-brown body : BAY
14
Russian newspaper founded in 1912 : PRAVDA
19
Crosses off : XSOUT
21
Hydroelectric project : DAM
25
Ballpark gate employee : TICKETTAKER
26
Davis of "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" : ESSIE
27
Ballpark figures? : STATS
29
U-turn from SSW : NNE
30
Bother persistently : NAGAT
31
Note in a kitty, perhaps : IOU
32
Stick that's chalked : CUE
33
Sunni and Shia, for two : SECTS
34
Pacific greeting : ALOHA
38
The Sun Devils' sch. : ASU
39
"Kidnapped" monogram : RLS
40
Three-dimensional fig. : SPH
42
Comment made while sweating : IMHOT
43
Pre-Easter purchase : EGGDYE
45
Chinese revolutionary Sun ___ : YATSEN
46
Served à la cherries jubilee : FLAMBE
47
Particle with a + or - : ION
51
Stands at funerals : BIERS
52
Parcel out : ALLOT
54
Words of approximation : ORSO
55
Many a first-time voter : TEEN
56
"First, do no ___" : HARM
57
Poor dog's portion, in rhyme : NONE
58
The "one" in a one-two : JAB
59
What a rejection may crush : EGO
60
Billiard ball with a blue stripe : TEN

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle.

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